10 Massive Security Breaches
March 12, 2011 06:00 AM They make the news on a regular basis: incidents in which a company or government agency's security is breached, leading to a loss of information, personal records, or other data. There are many ways to measure the size or cost of a security breach. Some result in the loss of millions of data records, some affect millions of people, and some wind up costing the affected businesses a lot of money. Not to mention, the questions of you calculate the value of personal medical information vs. credit card numbers. Here are ten security breaches of epic scale, plus one "bonus" incident that ranks among the boneheaded moves of all time.
The Maine-based grocery store chain Hannaford Brothers announced in March 2008 that hackers had gained access to more than 4.2 million credit card transactions. By the time word got out, more than 1,800 of the credit card numbers had already been used at company stores in the Northeast and Florida. Ironically, the chain had passed a PCI assessment not long before the breach was discovered. The breach resulted in two class action lawsuits on behalf of customers, whose outcome is still pending.